2018 – Looking Ahead to the Next Year in Wargaming

frontier wars 728x90 KS

We also asked folks in the hobby to look into the next year and take a stab at predicting the future –

GrogHeads, 30 December 2017

Ty Bomba, Game Designer

I’m taking part in the founding of a new, 116-page, quarterly, one-topic-per-issue magazine from S&T Press to be titled Strategy & Tactics Quarterly. At least at the start, there won’t be any issue-wargame inside; instead there will be a full-size, two-sided, frame-able poster. At the same time, the 116-page format will allow us to get into each issue’s topics in such depth that most wargamers won’t be able to resist getting into them. My first two issue contributions will be: Stalingrad: The Whole Story, and Cold War World Wars: Armageddon’s that Might’ve Been, 1945-1991. 

Alan Emrich, Victory Point Games

I predict the hobby will soldier on, but with a continuing need for more introductory wargames on topics that will send new players to learn more about the battles, campaigns, and personalities. Since they don’t do justice to history in schools as they used to, lighting that fire of passion in the next generation is vital.

Stronghold Games

There will be more earth-shattering gaming news!  LOL!  The industry is in its infancy still, and we have not seen the end of mergers and acquisitions, so we’ll see more tremendously big news about publishers and games.  Ok, this is not a wild prediction, but it’s a good (will happen, that is) prediction.  And it’s all I have right now… 🙂

James Sterrett, Professional Wargamer

Scientists discover that wargaming prevents cancer, leading to a boom in the industry.


Iain McNeil, Slitherine

I think it’s going to be a tough year. Steam has opened the floodgates and so many games are releasing it is very hard, especially for smaller developers or indies, to get any visibility. Even the big guys are struggling with some major games selling well below expectations. I’m expecting a few casualties in the next couple of years. Niche’s will become increasingly important and we’re even looking at a lot more console content, for games that would normally have been considered PC exclusives.

Brian Train, Game Designer (and theorist!)

Prediction for hobby gaming world for 2018: More of the same, but different. Examples:

– More COIN and COIN-derived games, but doing different things and twists with the basic system (e.g. 3-player COIN, woodland fantasy)

– More “system” games from the Decision Games empire: there seem to be about four or five families of these games running in a pack through the several magazines and folios, nothing wrong with that because you know what you’re getting into, but not everything is a good fit.

– Hollandspiele, as the best up-and-comer small press outfit (at least, they got my vote for that) will produce more and more amazing and imaginative and boundary-pushing designs, but in small numbers.

Paul Rohrbaugh, Game Designer / Publisher

Nothing major, but some of our DTP games may be picked for republication by another publisher (I can’t disclose the titles currently). We will be releasing another new “Professional Series” game sometime in 2018.

Hermann Luttman, game designer

As far as a prediction for the hobby, I will combine that with my actual hope for the wargame industry. When I attended the aforementioned Origins convention with Brant, I was astounded at the breath and scope of the “rest” of the gaming industry. It was amazing what was offered in those halls and though I knew of their existence, I never really explored those game designs. Well this year I did and have enjoyed playing games like Clank, Defenders of the Last Stand, 51st State, Eclipse, Cry Havoc, Neuroshima Hex and many others that most wargamers should appreciate as well. The “design” aspect of many of these games is downright brilliant and their accessibility to the gaming public is obvious. So why can’t wargames do this? Why can’t wargame publishers make games that are 20 pages long with great components, easy to play and that are also highly replayable? Some publishers have started in that direction for sure – Academy Games being the most notable. Vikings and 1812 are “real” wargames by all measures and are also beautiful, easy-to-play games at the same time. Flying Pig Games has also poked into this arena with Night of Man and ’65 – both beautifully produced wargames that still have the physical appeal and presence of your typical Ameritrash games. So I think (hope) that wargame designers and publishers pay attention to the exceptionally larger segment of our hobby and copy some of these genius design mechanics and approaches. There is no reason that a historical wargame can’t appeal to a larger audience and I know that I will do my part in attempting to broaden the reach of wargame simulations. I think wargamers need to adapt to what’s happening out there, because most of it is really well done and damn fun. I’ve already made a list of Eurogame/Ameritrash game mechanics that I want to bring into my wargame designs and I predict that many other designer and publishers may very well do the same.

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